Monday, December 1, 2014

Patience & Hidden Successes/Baptisms - Apolonio & Others Baptized! - Enjoying the Rain/Taking the Sisters Home Safely - Birthday Celebrations - What is in a Name Tag? - Having Fun

As I have been here in Obera Argentina as I said before, I have learned patience. I have learned how to work, even when the fruits of the work are not plain to be seen. Every missionary strives to have baptisms and to teach lots of lessons and to work as hard as they are capable, but sometimes what you do just doesn't seem to be enough. After several rather disappointing weeks I really started to feel a little sad about the lack of progress. I had been talking to lots of missionaries from other missions through email, and they all seemed to have so much success, and it really hurt to feel like I wasn't making the impact I wanted to make. I now realize, that these feelings of sadness and disappointment could only be from the adversary.

Two days ago, one of the Assistants to the President called our companionship and said he wanted to talk to me. He told me that I had reason to be happy and the the fruits of my labor have been shown. I really didn't know what he was talking about and kinda wondered to myself if he knew which missionary he was talking to ;) He told me that partly because of my work in Carlos A. Lopez (My last area, which was in Paraguay) in the past 3 weeks, 7 people have been baptized.
​This is the Man Äpolonio who we worked with so hard. He was baptized (sorry don't have pictures of all) this past month, and I think I told his story already but it really is a special one. He couldn't understand us because he doesn't hardly speak Spanish, but for some reason, that could only have been the spirit guiding us, we decided to bring a member to try and translate to Guarani. He began to really learn and truly feel the spirit. I am so proud of him and all the others that followed the example of our Savior.

Okay now on a different, slightly less spiritual note... Sometimes missionaries get the chance to have a little bit of fun too. We were having a meeting with the Ward Mission Leader, and when it ended the rain was so heavy I could not believe it. The roads were literally rivers. We live close to the church, but we decided it wouldn't be safe to leave the Hermanas to walk in the storm alone, so we walk/ran/swam ;) them home. Also we had to leave our ties behind, so sorry if this doesn't look quite like a missionary should, but we really were doing what we thought would be most safe. Anyway it was pretty fun to get to run in the rain like I used to do ALL THE TIME back home :)
​So yeah I would almost never go outside without a tie, but they were saying it would ruin our ties if we let them get so wet so yeah :)
Well this is all of the Missionaries plus 2 in our district having a birthday celebration at the President of the Branch's house! Lots of birthdays lately! My district leader will also have his birthday tomorrow!

We received the news of our transfers, and EVERY MISSIONARY except for me and one Hermana will be leaving the Area. It is really crazy because she and I have to really teach people how things work around here! A bit nervous, but also super excited! Please keep me in your prayers for this transfer!!

I love you all and hope all is well!
Thank you for reading and hope this letter could help someone out there!

Elder Graves
This is Taylor's Dad speaking now.  Taylor sent me a couple of other pictures that I will include in his blog below.  I really like the picture of their nametags.  Each of the missionaries in the district placed his/her name tag on the tree.  It is very special to see each of their individual names on the same name plate as the church.  Even more importantly, each of them shares a name tag with the Savior "JesuCristo".  What an incredible opportunity and responsibility to represent Him.  I love the church's logo and how clearly, even in a foreign language, the name of Jesus Christ (or JesuCristo in Spanish) stands out in that name.  We are Christians.  We love the Savior.  What a blessing to have a son who has been called to represent Him.
This is a picture that Taylor sent home of his district and their "funny poses/faces".  Seems like they like to have fun :-) while serving. 

Write to Elder Graves in 1 of 4 ways:

1. E-mail
2. Send mail through
They will print and mail it for you at no cost (without a stamp).  This is a free service. Instructions:
Select the "Argentina Posadas Mission"

3. Send letters through the Church Pouch Mail Only postcards or one-page correspondences (no envelopes).

Fold the letter in thirds, secure the long side with tape about one inch in from each end. Do not seal the ends. Stamp and address the blank side as you would an envelope. Use the following mailing address:
Elder Taylor Graves
Argentina Posadas Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT

4. Physical Mailing Address.
Due to exorbitant costs incurred in the country of Argentina by the church, He can not receive packages :-( - not even a bubble envelope. Please refrain from sending anything other than an envelope/letter - anything else will likely be returned to sender.

Elder Taylor Graves
Córdoba 1243
Posadas, Misiones 3300
Casilla 12

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